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Concert culture experiences a resurgence at St. John’s

Since+2020%2C+many+high-profile+artists+have+released+new+music+and+went+on+their+first+tours+in+five+years.+Taylor+Swift%2C+SZA%2C+Beyonce%2C+Drake+and+Morgan+Wallen+had+combined+ticket+sales+of+over+%244.5+billion%2C+with+both+Swift+and+Beyonce+accounting+for+half+of+it.%C2%A0
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Since 2020, many high-profile artists have released new music and went on their first tours in five years. Taylor Swift, SZA, Beyonce, Drake and Morgan Wallen had combined ticket sales of over $4.5 billion, with both Swift and Beyonce accounting for half of it. 

For junior Kit Haggard, the best way to get tickets to a Harry Styles concert was to camp out in front of a stadium for three hours. After attending her first concert at five years old, Haggard fell in love with live music after watching Florence and the Machine perform during their Ceremonials Tour. 

Live music has recently made a comeback after a two-year hiatus during the pandemic. Up by 148% from 2022 and 139% from pre-pandemic, concert attendance is estimated to bring in $33.8 billion globally in 2023. 

With tours and concerts canceled and music rarely being released in 2020, people turned to the digital world and started to discover new artists. Sophomore Kaviya Dhir attributes expanding fanbases for artists to the pandemic. 

“I discovered a lot of my favorite artists that way,” Dhir said. “I spontaneously clicked on Spotify one day, and that’s how I got into the music that I’m into today.”

Since 2020, many high-profile artists have released new music and went on their first tours in five years. Taylor Swift, SZA, Beyonce, Drake and Morgan Wallen had combined ticket sales of over $4.5 billion, with both Swift and Beyonce accounting for half of it. 

Pop-up shows have also made a comeback. Junior Alexys Tantuco has noticed that more artists perform at smaller indie-like venues instead of sold-out stadiums. 

“I saw a video of Hozier performing a pop-up show,” Tantuco said. “It was literally just him on the street, performing as if he was a busker.”

Tantuco also feels that she can connect to artists and their music better because of the size of the crowds and the more heartfelt music produced. 

“Concerts have become a much more intimate experience after Covid,” Tantuco said. 

Just as concerts have become more intimate, music festivals are also gaining traction. Austin City Limits, held during the first two weekends of October, attracts approximately 450,000 people every year and is known for its big headline artists. This year, sold-out shows included Kendrick Lamar, The Lumineers, The 1975, Noah Kahan, Hozier and Del Water Gap. 

As the biggest musical festival in Texas, ACL has its own uniqueness when compared to other festivals across the nation. 

“You can experience music from artists you don’t know,” junior Aashna Poduval said. “People are much more open to hearing music from a completely random artist.”

For Lily Pesikoff (‘22), ACL this year was a completely different experience than previous concerts and festivals. Due to scheduling conflicts and the Covid-19 pandemic, this year was the second time that Pesikoff was able to attend the festival. 

One key difference Pesikoff noticed was the way that concert culture changed compared to before Covid. 

“There’s this whole culture of getting there super early,” Pesikoff said. “There’s also a super intense fandom obsession that can make it a bit toxic.”

Yet, Pesikoff still prefers live music over recorded music and believes listening to live bands is something that you can never experience through streaming services. Seeing the performers up on stage, being interactive with the audience and being in their element is what makes live music magical.   

Pesikoff is also a drummer and singer for the band “The Backroom Rumors.”

“It’s a completely different experience when I’m onstage compared to when I’m in the crowd,” Pesikoff said. 

At the beginning of the pandemic, Pesikoff found herself asking people to see her band perform. Yet this past summer, she realized that there were more people who she personally knew.  

“I don’t have to beg people as often anymore,” Pesikoff said. “Now, people want to come see us, and most of the time, I can’t even conceptualize that.”

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About the Contributor
Riya Nimmagadda
Riya Nimmagadda, Copy Editor
Riya Nimmagadda ('26) joined The Review in 2022 as a freshman.  She can probably finish a TV show in a day and she has a weird fear of cotton balls.

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